Cargill’s pioneering mobile phone payments for Ghana cocoa farmers

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11 Sep 2017 --- Cargill has made its first ever sustainable premium payment by electronic transfer to cocoa farmers in Ghana, with just over 10,000 farmers benefiting from the two million GHS mobile payments made by Cargill in partnership with its customers through the Cargill Cocoa Promise.

This forms part of Cargill’s commitment to improving the livelihoods of farmers and communities that will secure a thriving cocoa sector for generations to come. 

Cargill’s Licensed Buying Company (LBC), which began operating in November 2016, allows the company to directly source cocoa from certified farmers in Ghana – putting the farmer at the heart of its business. The buying process is fully e-money enabled, allowing Cargill to pay farmers directly by electronic transfer for the first time.

Cargill already sources directly from farmers and farmer organizations in other origin countries. 

Moving to this model in Ghana means that the company is now better positioned to implement sustainability activities under the Cargill Cocoa Promise on a wider scale, while also better serving its customers.

“Our first electronic premium payment in Ghana since Cargill’s LBC was established is good news for farmers,” says Lionel Soulard, managing director Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate West Africa.

“Our new approach, combining new high-tech purchasing with the LBC model of direct sourcing and collaboration with farmers, is working well and we hope to make much more such payments in the future.”

Technology drives Ghana’s sustainable and traceable cocoa supply chain

Cargill’s innovative purchasing model uses the latest technology to implement the principles of sustainability and full traceability in Ghana. Farmers deliver their cocoa to community warehouses where their beans are digitally weighed and assigned a fully traceable bar code. 

Funds are then transferred straight to the farmer’s phone or e-wallet using E-money through partnerships with E-Zwich, MTM mobile Money and Tigo Mobil Money.
Details of the cocoa beans are recorded in a standardized management system before they are transferred to central warehouses. Through this bar code system, Cargill can now, for the first time in Ghana, trace each individual bag of beans sourced through the Cargill LBC to the individual farmer, creating a fully traceable supply chain.

“Having long standing relations with cocoa farmers and their communities is critical for the full implementation of our sustainability approach and we are now expanding our sustainability activities to enable farming communities to benefit from training, community and farm development support,” Soulard adds. 

Empowering Ghana’s cocoa communities

Working together with CARE International, Cargill is currently undertaking development projects in 108 communities in Ghana, focusing on women’s empowerment, child protection and food and nutrition security. 

The strategy is to empower these communities through the formation of community development committees (CDCs), providing each with US$500 seed capital to spearhead the development agenda of the communities. 

Cargill will be investing US$300,000 each year for the next three years to create resilient cocoa communities in the area where the LBC operates.

“We are excited about continuing our sustainability journey in Ghana, in partnership with COCOBOD, the Ghanaian cocoa board. As our new purchasing model is fully sustainable and fully certified, it will strengthen farmer organizations and enable farmers to benefit from future premium payments for certified, sustainable cocoa beans.”

“Developing our sourcing capabilities in the world’s second largest cocoa producing country is an essential step to meet growing customer demand for sustainable, certified cocoa”, added Soulard.

In the coming year, Cargill will also work with the Ministry of Education to renovate, reconstruct and build schools in the four districts where it currently operates, to improve access to education.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

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More than simply a food ingredients supplier, Cargill deeply understands our customers' strategies, consumers, distribution channels and competition. We deliver solutions that help the food industry and beverage manufacturers drive growth through new product innovation and reformulation. Cargill helps reduce costs through supply chain and manufacturing process efficiency and managing commodity price risk. Cargill helps our food industry and beverage manufacturing customers create unique products that fill product pipelines and reduce time-to-market by connecting our diverse food ingredients supplier capabilities — marketers, research scientist, application experts, risk managers and manufacturing process engineers — and seamlessly delivering these resources to customers. As a service and solution-oriented food ingredients supplier, our broad portfolio helps our customers address their food product development needs across the spectrum of applications and categories. Cargill helps our customers safely manufacture products every day around the world by reliably originating and distributing grain, oilseeds and other food ingredient commodities and by processing a diverse food ingredients supplier portfolio that spans core and specialty ingredients, ingredient systems and finished food systems.

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